Partners for Progressive Israel Expresses Solidarity
with Anti-Occupation Activists Attacked by the IDF
Partners for Progressive Israel expresses its solidarity with the anti-occupation activists of Combatants for Peace, All That’s Left, and the Jordan Valley Coalition, who were the victims of extreme and unprovoked violence on Friday, September 17, perpetrated by Israeli soldiers near the village of al-Tuwani in the southern West Bank. We wish a speedy recovery to the activists wounded there, and in particular to Eli Ziv, who was hospitalized and will require surgery.
We also express our support for the complaint submitted by Knesset members Mossi Raz (Meretz) and Ofer Cassif (Joint List/Hadash), who both took part in the protest, demanding that Defense Minister Benny Gantz order a thorough investigation of the episode and punish any soldier found guilty. Unfortunately, the military has so far made do with a simple reprimand for the commander, which is utterly insufficient, given the circumstances.
The September 17 incident can serve as a case study that brings together a gamut of the occupation’s most salient characteristics:
- The activists had gathered to escort a water tanker to a small Palestinian community that has been denied access to running water, and to protest the severe inequality of water access between Palestinians and Jewish Israelis living in the same area.
- The anti-occupation protesters, demonized over the years by Israeli politicians, suffered severe brutality at the hands of an Israeli army unit.
- The IDF sought to explain its behavior by citing its mission to protect Avigayil, a nearby settlement outpost that was established illegally, even under Israeli law.
- The IDF chose a hasbara policy of ‘blame the victim’, saying it was the activists who had instigated the violence, even though none of the ample video evidence supports that claim.
The incident on Friday is further proof, as if we needed it, that the occupation is a system of oppressive control that ultimately can be maintained only through force of arms. If this is how Israel’s security forces behave toward privileged citizens of Israel, we can only imagine their conduct on a daily basis toward rightless Palestinians when cameras aren’t present. Consequently, while we are demanding a full investigation and appropriate punishment for those responsible, we fully recognize that the achievement of equality and justice will require the definitive end of occupation.
For video footage of the incident, please refer to the Twitter thread published by journalist Nir Hasson, starting here.